Traveler's Test

Why paying for experience instead of things makes you happier

Why paying for experience instead of things makes you happier

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For the last decade, more and more studies have been conducted in search for the secrets of the human happiness. Even if the results differ in some points, there is no doubt about one thing: buying meaningful experience brings much more satisfaction than buying things.

A recent Gilovich/Kingsworth study published in Psychological Science, reveals that money spent on experiences “brings more lasting happiness”.

“Live for the moment” is a popular lifestyle nowadays but it turns out that it is better to live waiting for that moment.

The waiting process and the memories afterwards are the main reasons for the lasting positive effect.

This is why trips, concerts, cinema and theater tickets are better gifts than objects. It has been scientifically proven that waiting for an experience is more thrilling than waiting for a material object.

In previous researches Gilovich reveals that a possible reason why experiences bring more happiness than objects, is that people tend to compare their possessions to other people’s possessions. But this is not the case when it comes to comparison of experiences.

It makes sense to think like this: if you buy/give a trip as a present, it will come and pass; and if you buy a material present, it will last. But it turns out that people tend to get used to new objects very quickly. If they use them regularly, the objects stop being appreciated and turn into part of the everyday life. Alternatively, when it comes to experiences, they are usually too short to get used to, or with time our brain “cleans out” the negative aspects and only the positive ones remain, just a great memory.

So, researches are clear – what is your next destination/activity?